Enjoy Fresh Berries All Year with This Simple Freezing Method

Stock up on blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries now while they are at their peak flavor and freeze them to enjoy year round.  This post teaches a few simple steps to maintain their shape and ensure the berries stay fresh to use in baking later in the year.





Frozen blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries on baking sheet

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Summer is the ideal season for picking up fresh fruits and vegetables at your local farmer's markets, road-side produce stands, and grocery stores.  But if you want to enjoy it all past the peak flavor season, the easiest way is to freeze some of what you bring home.


Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries freeze especially well if done properly.  Because they are a soft fruit, you can't just toss the berries into a ziploc bag and place it in the freezer.  You must take a few very simple steps to ensure that the berries maintain their shape and appearance, don't end up smooshed into one large clump, and stay free of ice crystals.





HOW TO FREEZE FRESH BLUEBERRIES, BLACKBERRIES, AND RASPBERRIES





First, wash the fresh berries and allow them to dry thoroughly while resting on paper towel.  Discard any berries that are bruised or no good.


Then, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or waxed paper and gently lay the berries out in a single layer on the pan.  Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer.



Freezing berries on a baking sheet



When the berries are hard and frozen (about 60 minutes), immediately place them into a plastic container or tight-sealing freezer bag, leaving plenty of room at the top so that they do not get compressed.  Be sure to label the package with the type of berry inside and when they were frozen.  Then return the berries to the freezer.



Frozen berries in baggie and container



Ideally, the berries will last up to six months preserved this way, but I've used them even a year later with no problems.


This method allows the berries to remain separate, which makes for easy measuring to add into cakes and muffins, pancakes, or smoothies.  They can even still be used to fill a pie or top a tart or other dessert.


Freezing berries in this way ensures that you are able to enjoy the season's best fruit anytime of the year.  You can also keep the berries from going to waste if you end up with more than you can enjoy at one time.


Leave me a comment below and let me know how you most like to preserve fresh produce during the summer months!






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Freezing berries on a baking sheet




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